Cary NC, 1st March 2010:
Since January, Arcen’s focus has shifted from large-scale development of AI War to our other upcoming titles - with AI War, our intent had been to simply maintain and refine the existing game, while adding a handful of exciting new features every month as free DLC. As you may imagine, therefore, we were quite surprised to realize that this new version, 3.060, is the largest monthly update we’ve ever done.
There aren’t many huge single features here aside from the new Riot Control Starships (which introduce modular ship design to the game). However, the number of small refinements are just staggering (the release notes are over 10,000 words), and we’ve made a number of significant performance improvements, too. Here’s the list of particularly notable features out of the hundreds of changes:
- Simple Formation movement, as well as arc-movement.
- New, modular, riot control starships.
- Many various performance improvements.
- Manufactories now auto-manage themselves by default.
- Transports are now extremely more useful.
- Astro Trains are now much less fearsome.
- Cleanup drones can now remove mines (even perma-mines).
- Gate-raiding is now cheaper in terms of AI Progress.
- Hit chance logic is slightly simplified to avoid player confusion.
- New screenshot key (F12).
- Control nodes and rally points now knowledge-free.
- Option for historical autosaves.
- Dozens and dozens of balance tweaks.
- Other various bugfixes and small changes.
A big part of the reason for the impressiveness of this update is Keith LaMothe, Arcen’s new part-time programmer, who joined the team in January. Keith is tasked with keeping AI War growing and improving while Chris Park, AI War’s lead designer and (previously sole) programmer is working on Arcen’s other upcoming titles. Of course, Chris still plays AI War several hours per week and so can’t help but make some weekly changes to the game himself, and is still very much involved in Arcen’s ever-growing forum community, and overall design of AI War.
Arcen is quite pleased to see that AI War’s playerbase continues to grow so steadily ten months after the base game’s initial release - we’ve seen a 300% increase in total customers since AI War 2.0 - and in turn we’re making the continual refinement and feature-growth of the game an ongoing priority beyond the smaller monthly DLC releases that had been planned. A second paid expansion for the game is also still planned for late this year.
Next month’s free DLC will include more player-requested changes, as well as our first work on new endgame scenarios and auto-created epilogues, both of which should really take the late stages of the game to new heights.
You can download the installer at that page. If you already have the game or demo installed, just use the “Updates” button inside the game to get the latest patch. For more detailed release notes, please visit our forums.
About Arcen Games, LLC:
Arcen Games is an indie developer based out of Cary, North Carolina, with half a dozen staff/contracts from around the country as well in Canada and the UK. Arcen's first title, AI War, was the 40th best-reviewed PC game of 2009 according to MetaCritic, and has been a commercially successful title of 2009 on Steam, Impulse, and other digital distribution channels. 2010 has so far seen the release of the first expansion to AI War, titled The Zenith Remnant, as well as a retail release of the game in Germany, and an imminent retail release of the game in Russia. Aside from free DLC for AI War, Arcen is currently working on a puzzle game called Tidalis for release near the end of Q2 2010, and has plans for releasing two other PC titles later in the year, one of which will be a second expansion to AI War.